Sen. Lankford Corrects Chuck Todd: Handguns Far More Popular for Crime Than AR-15s


During a February 18 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) told Chuck Todd that handguns are used for crime far more often than AR-15s.

Lankford’s statement followed Todd’s focus on how an 18-year-old  can buy an AR-15 in Florida, but must be 21 in order to buy a handgun.

During the live broadcast, Lankford responded, “An AR-15 is a rifle, a handgun is obviously a handgun…[and] there are three, four, five times as many crimes committed with a handgun than there are with a rifle.”

He added, “When you look at the statistics, many, many, many, more shootings occur with a pistol, than they do with a rifle.”

Lankford said there are certainly examples where an AR-15 might be used in a “mass shooting,” but he stressed that handguns are “still the weapon of choice for murders.”

Two quick points: 1. Lankford’s points make sense philosophically because it is very difficult to conceal any rifle, including an AR-15, but a pistol is quick easy to conceal. Therefore, a pistol is easier to sneak into the area which one wants to attack (or to sneak in behind the individual one wants to harm). 2. Landford’s points are proven right by FBI crime stats. On January 3, 2013, Breitbart News reported FBI numbers showing that more people were killed with hammers and clubs each year than were killed with rifles of any kind.

For example,  In 2005, a total of 445 were committed with rifles while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618. In 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.

More recently, in 2016, over four times as many people were stabbed to death than were killed with rifles of any kind.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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